Author: asphaire

Permission To Course-Correct

Yes, you have permission. You’ve always had permission. Our whole lives, social constructs and institutions put so much pressure on us to get life right the first time around. And when we don’t get it right—as humans are prone to mistakes and bad judgment—we know in our heads that we have the choice to course-correct, but most people don’t dare. And when we do dare, we go through this whole internal crisis. But still, most won’t dare. Why? Because it’s easier to stay the course, to keep on smiling as we play the part we’ve created and built up for ourselves over the years. And all the while, we’re dying inside. Think about it: how are we to make the most informed decision about our future career paths at age 16? How can we make a lifelong decision about whom to marry at age 21 or 25 when we haven’t even quite understood who we are? Chances are, those choices are made based on very limited knowledge of the world, of ourselves, and what we …

Personal Struggles Aren’t Any Less Important During A Pandemic

When the world essentially shuts down in the blink of an eye, where even the humdrum of daily life grinds to a halt, the world’s busiest cities in a state of complete emptiness we never would’ve imagined possible, it’s fair to say, it’s shocking. I’m probably still in shock. The speed, gravity, and all-encompassing way this pandemic has permeated and disrupted every aspect of our individual and collective lives is — based on sheer scale — impressive. Such a massive event triggers our fight or flight instinct, it takes us off balance, and for many of us who suddenly find ourselves with a lot more time on our hands to ruminate and a lot less human contact, it shifts perspectives and perhaps makes us come to realisations we otherwise wouldn’t have had. Like every single one of you, I have personal struggles of all shapes and sizes. But since home confinement began, I’ve learned to see the bigger picture and really found a renewed sense of not sweating the small stuff. I am but a …

Don’t Say You Can’t, Tell Me You Won’t

On truth and broken promises The sweetness of beautiful promises Intoxicating, dripping like morning dew Matched only by sweet kisses Doubts, fears give way to what feels true Words so precious, my heart in your hand But when I ask for more, you always say ‘I can’t’ You asked for patience, you need more time Sshh, quiet down inner voice, buckle down, stand by Why does it hurt? Loving you is my only crime And why, after the laughter, do I break down and cry? Mere crumbs, I know, you give what you can So when I ask for more, you always say ‘I can’t’ Every sunrise is brighter, sunsets more divine Senses peak, awakened like never before The mundane made special, your existence sublime Life is extraordinary, why ask for more? Because I know my worth, I know where I stand Proof is in the pudding, you always say ‘I can’t’ Mind blown, grateful, in awe that our paths even crossed So unexpected, wings unclipped, it made perfect sense Connection so deep we were …

What Will You Change In Your Life When This Is All Over?

It’s Monday, another week in Covid-19 home isolation, and frankly, it feels just like yesterday and will probably feel the same as tomorrow. Who knew ‘Manic Mondays’ or the ‘Monday Blues’ could feel a tad outdated and trigger a slight bit of nostalgia. I woke up this morning with a burning question in mind: what will you change in your life when this is all over? I sent a message to a few close friends, curious about whether this life in forced isolation and all the emotions brought about by a global pandemic that’s bringing every man-made system to its knees, has created any lasting shifts in the way they thought, felt, and viewed their lives. I would love to hear your thoughts. As for me, here are a few things I’d like to really practice in my day to day life starting now: Really be present. Like many of you, I’ve also been thrust into an introspective space and state of mind. The key learning: be present. That’s not new in and of itself. What …

Life In A Pandemic: Don’t Waste Its Valuable Lessons

How do you find calm in a world gone mad? How do we stay sane amid border closures, flight cancellations, total lockdown, panic buying, and an invisible enemy that’s ruthlessly and indiscriminately claiming lives, breaking down healthcare systems, and bringing the world economy to its knees? I took the photo above in a town by the coast last week, day 2 of what was supposed to be a two-week holiday that had to be cut short that very same day. How blissfully unaware that little boy was to the chaos and madness fast unfolding in the wider world. Must be nice, I thought. The tense atmosphere and drastic disruptive changes to daily life brought about by the Covid-19 global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have been rude awakenings. I cried the first two days upon our return from that long-anticipated trip that ended almost as soon as it started. The wave of emotion felt like an all-encompassing, overwhelming force that I couldn’t quite break down into comprehensible pieces. That’s the most difficult part of this pandemic …

In Honour of the Medical Profession

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the World Health Organisation declared the global COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. In our new recent reality, coronavirus stories abound — from panic buying of toilet paper to entire countries going on lockdown. But the most heartbreaking stories come from the men and women on the frontline of this fight: doctors, nurses, medics, medical volunteers and other health professionals risking their own safety and that of their families to put others’ lives and safety first. The men and women who, in the worst affected places, are put in the horrible position of having to decide essentially who gets to live and who dies. Let’s take a moment to remember that this has been the daily reality of doctors in war-torn places like Syria for years, or simply a fact of life for doctors practicing in extremely poor countries with very limited resources. Since news of the virus broke, I’ve been constantly discussing the science, the news, virology, epidemiology, people’s reaction (both overreaction and brash dismissals) with several doctor …

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Why do you do what you do?

Recently, I’ve had several conversations about motivation and intention—why some women aim to look a certain way, get really lean, strong or, some would say, “look like men”; post fitness progress pictures on Instagram; or pursue physical activity to an extent some would consider a little too much. Why yoga? Why crossfit? Why running? Why this or that?

Photo by Natalie Collins on Unsplash

Review: Bulletproof coffee?

Is it a hype or does it work?

The first time a good friend of mine mentioned bulletproof coffee or BPC, I visibly flinched. How can coffee, butter and coconut oil be good, let alone drinkable?! I soon discovered its cult-like following on social media, and numerous fitness influencers who swear by its effects. Of course, I have also come across articles warning me of my potential ignorance should I “fall” for the BPC craze. So far though, it seems supporters outnumber detractors, at least in my ‘algorithmically’ manipulated social media networks.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Long-distance relationship: is it for you?

Let me tell you this right away: no one can answer this for you except, well… you. Being in a couple when you’re both in the same city or same home is hard enough, and maintaining an LDR is surely harder. I’m sharing the thinking process that led me to my decision to perhaps help you ask the questions that need to be asked.

This is the third time my husband and I are doing the long-distance thing. While I still think choosing to live in two different places is ‘unnatural’ for a couple, I don’t think it’s weird or unnatural when a couple decide to do so.

Survival guide to a new job & a new city

While this is my fourth major move as an ‘expat,’ I have to admit there are some things that may seem basic to others, but that I’m still learning with each new move. I’ve gotten much better at negotiating, getting what I deserve (and want), and making sure I’m valued for what I’m worth. Having said that, maybe it’s social conditioning or it could be biological… but I’m well aware that I, like many women, still have the tendency of being ‘too nice’ or not being aggressive enough in communicating my demands and making sure they are met. Here are a few things I’ve learned in a career of 15 years (so far):